// June consumer confidence improves to -30, compared to -36 at the last reading in May
// While the 6-point rebound is promising experts warn it could be short-lived
// All sub-category measures taken into account for the overall index rose in June
British consumers are feeling a little brighter about the future as lockdown for non-essential shops ends and shops start to reopen, according to a closely watched index.
While consumer confidence has rebounded slightly from near-record lows, experts fear this could be short lived.
The GfK survey’s long-running Consumer Confidence Barometer was up six points to -30 in the June.
“This latest improvement may be misleading. Consumers appear to be confused and some are not sure what to think,” GfK client strategy director Joe Staton said.
“Yes, we have seen queues as some shoppers return to battered high streets. But with economists warning that the post-lockdown upturn might not restore GDP to pre-Covid-19 levels, and with the labour market set for more job losses, we have to question whether we are seeing early signs of economic recovery or that infamous ‘dead cat bounce’.
“Most bets will be on the dead cat.”
The bounce still leaves confidence well below the -13 score GfK recorded in June last year.
“We have a six-point uptick in the overall index score with all measures up and particularly strong increases in future perceptions of personal finances and the economy,” Staton said.
“But we still have a story that’s about negative numbers so it’s too early to say that consumers are moving on from the Covid-19 crisis.”
In April – shortly after lockdown came into place and the coronavirus pandemic was at its worst in the UK – the index recorded the biggest drop in the barometer’s 46-year history, from -9 to -34.
Staton said that only the 1979 oil crisis came close.
The GfK index measures attitudes towards personal finance and the general economic situation, looking a year ahead and a year in the past.
It also measures consumers’ attitudes to major buys.
All measures taken into account for the survey rose in June, with major purchases and the general economic situation over the next 12 months bouncing the most.
with PA Wires